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High school coaches discuss the return of fall sports

Fall sports are starting up.
Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 8:56 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2021 at 5:22 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Students are getting back to class, homework and sports this fall.

Fall sports are either starting back up or are already underway, and while restrictions have eased, many school districts still have requirements and mandates.

For school districts in Dane County, like the Madison Metropolitan School District, or the Verona Area School District, masks are back. Athletes and fans will be required to wear masks at indoor sporting events, regardless of vaccination status. For outdoor sports, masks are not required for the vaccinated.

One of the biggest changes for schools in the area is the return of fans.

“It is so awesome to see fans back,” said Joe King, a tennis coach at James Madison Memorial High School. “It is really challenging to tell parents and family members they can’t come to support the athletes, so it is good to see them back out here.”

For the high school’s volleyball coach, Karyn Burcum, one of the big challenges is students coming back after a year away.

While some sports dealt with fluctuating schedules, others saw seasons canceled entirely. For many student-athletes in the MMSD, one of the biggest challenges will be preparing for competition after so much time away.

“They had the year off from a lot of these sports,” said Burcum. “So making sure we are easing them back in and pushing them appropriately.”

Both King and Burcum said that everyone is happy to get back into the swing of the season despite the challenges.

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